On a bright Sunday morning in Dedza district, Reverend Fastele Banda takes to the podium of a large church. The aisles are full of people from surrounding villages, dressed in their finest clothes. A group of gospel singers in shiny shirts get everyone singing to build their enthusiasm. Then Reverend Banda starts talking, his voice becoming more animated as he holds forth on a subject that he is passionate about: ending child marriage.
It’s a hot and sunny afternoon when Chief Kapoloma visits the home of teenage Fatima and her mother in Aisa village, Machinga district. He strides across the baked earth of a dried-out river bed, wearing a traditional robe and circular hat over smart shirt and trousers. The area is predominantly Muslim and there is a small brick mosque among the houses, adorned with a white star and crescent on the minaret. A cockerel calls out from a straw enclosure behind one of the mud brick houses.